In all there are thirty-six clans or gotras among the Kandera. They are not arranged in a hierarchy. Clan hierarchy plays an important role in marriage alliances. There has been a change in gotra names which are also used as surnames. These gotras are exogamous units and have a goddess. They claim a Rajput descent and put them under the kshatriya category of the varna order. They are aware of the four varnas which have specific position in the hierarchy. To others they are of the clean communitiy cluster. They however, occupy a position above the Kamingar or servive castes. In the local hierarchy they are above the Scheduled Castes. The community endogamy and gotra exogamy are followed while selecting a bride. A girl cannot be selected as bride from the gotra of mother’s brother, father’s mother’s brother. The marriage age for the boys is 21years old and for girls it is 18years old.
The marriages are settled through negotiation. Monogamy is the rule. Lac bangles, toe-ring, bindi on forehead and vermilion at the hair-parting are the symbols of married woman. The dowry is paid in cash and in the form of presentation of household articles. The residence is patria-local after marriage woman. Divorce is not permitted. Woman cannot have divorce. Widow and widower remarriages are practiced. Old age widow or widower does not enter into marriage alliances. In nata or remarriage junior levirate or junior sororate type of unions are preferred. Young widow usually enters into nata with her dead husband’s younger brother. If a widow marries a person other than her (husband’s younger brother) devar or somebody from other than her husband’s khandan a jhagde (compensation) has to be paod the amount of which is settled by the panch . the new husband pays it to the house of the deceased husband. The children of the dead husband remain with their father’s family. The widow has no right over them. Infants remain with her for some time. Widower remarriages are common than widow remarriages.
Nuclear family is common. The old and the disabled are secure in extended family which co-exist. The sons after marriage establish their own house. Parents usuallylive with the youngest sons. In the family the eldest male is the head. Joking relatins exist between husband’s younger brother and elder brother’s wife. A kind of avoidance exists between husband’s elder brother and younger brother’s wife. Sons equally inherit the parental property. The daughter does not have any inheritance right. In cases of having no male child any one can adopt his brother’s son or some younger male member from his khandan. Succession follows male primogeniture. Inter-famiy linkages are largely with the families of the khandan and kins.
Among the Kandera the women have no right to inherit the property. In a male dominated society overtly women cannot manipulate a family decision though she does it otherwise. It is a matter of ill repute for a man to be guided by his wife. So even if she influences the various decisions of her husband it is not made public. Her primary role is that of a housewife and she attends to the household chores. She, however, lends here hand in cotton ginning and keeping the room clean. She plays an important role in family management but does not go for earning.
Once the pregenancy is confirmed the midwife is informed. The delivery takes place at the house of her husband. The attending midwife cuts the umbilical cord. She serves the baby and the mother till the sod day. After this the mother takes care of her child. Mandal pujan is done after a fortnight of child birth when new lac bangles are worn. Mandal pujan in case of female issues and kua pujan in case of male issues marks the ned of pollution period for the mother. She can enter the kitchen and start cooking. Actually she starts cooking after two months or so as she needs complete rest after the child birth marriage negotiations are initiated by the girl’s party through a common kin. Once the martch is fixed they consult the pandit about the dates for ban, tel and phera. Summer months after the harvest of Rabi crops is the ideal period for marriage. The marriage is soemnised according to the Hindu rites and rituals. Tilak is the first ritual performed in marriage.
They cremate their dead. The body is given a bath. The mourning for the deceased is observed for twelve days. On the third day they perform a rite and the bones are consigned to holy Ganga at Haridwar. Terhvi is performed on thirteenth day which marks the end of death rites. The eldest son acts as the chief mourner and succeeds his deceased father.
The Kandera are mainly a landless community. They live on cotton ginning and making quilt, pillow and other bed material. Also some are successfully doing the business of cotton. They have trade ties with the other traders. They have customers from different communities. Transaction is largely in cash. Credit facilities are given to only old customers. Payment is always in cash. Those who cannot afford to maintain a shop they serve in the shops on daily payment or on contract basis. Their main season to starts from Dussehra and continues till Holi, during the winter months. After Holi it is a lean period for them. They are dependent on the the market system. In rural areas those who have some land also do farming. They also have taken to other petty business.
At the locality level they have a panch of their own to look after the disputes of social nature. Patil or choudhary is the traditional head of this panch. They go to the court of law for criminal offences and disputes regarding property. Panchayal raj or municipal corporation are concerne3d laragely with the maintenance and development of civic amenities. They have an organization at the community level which is more interested in social reforms. Traditional pnach has lost its importance and has been reduced to a mere body without such authority.